Rorate Caeli

"Illustrious for his learning and sanctity . . ."

Today the Church celebrates the birth into eternal life of St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, whose life on earth extended from about A.D. 213 to A.D. 275:

Neocæsaréæ, in Ponto, natális sancti Gregórii, Epíscopi et Confessóris, doctrína et sanctitáte illústris, qui propter signa atque mirácula, quæ cum multa Ecclesiárum glória perpetrávit, Thaumatúrgus est appellátus.

"At Neocaesarea in Pontus, the birthday of St. Gregory, bishop and confessor, illustrious for his learning and sanctity. The signs and miracles which he wrought to the great glory of the Church gained for him the surname Wonderworker."


In addition to the many miracles God worked through him, St. Gregory also was renowned for his sublime explication of the Church's Trinitarian faith. Taking a leading role in the local council of Antioch (A.D. 269) that condemned the heresies and moral lapses of Paul of Samosata, St. Gregory issued a creed or confession of faith. According to a very early tradition handed down by those who knew him, the Saint had received that creed during a vision or apparition of the Apostle St. John and the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. John is said to have dictated the creed aloud while Our Lady prayed silently. Unless one interprets the 12th chapter of the St. John's Apocalypse as a Marian apparition, St. Gregory's would be the earliest known Marian apparition. The Wonderworker's confession anticipates both the Nicene Creed and the 'Athanasian' Creed:

There is one God, the Father of the living Word, who is the substantive wisdom and eternal power and image of God: the perfect begetter of the perfect begotten: the Father of the only-begotten Son.

There is one Lord, one of one, God of God, the image and likeness of the Godhead, the mighty Word, the wisdom which comprehends the constitution of all things, and the power which produces all creation; the true Son of the true Father, Invisible of Invisible, Incorruptible of Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal, and Everlasting of Everlasting.

And there is one Holy Spirit, having His existence from God, and being manifested by the Son, namely, to men, the perfect likeness of the perfect Son, Life, the cause of the living, the sacred fount, sanctity, the leader of sanctification: in whom is revealed God the Father, who is over all things and in all things, and God the Son, who is through all things: a perfect Trinity, not divided nor differing in glory and eternity and sovereignty.

Neither, indeed, is there anything created or subservient in the Trinity, nor introduced, as though not there before but coming in afterwards; nor, indeed, has the Son ever been without the Father, nor the Spirit without the Son, but the Trinity is ever the same, unvarying and unchangeable.

8 comments:

Orlando Furioso said...

who was the first to identify Christ with the Greek Logos? I'm thinking Origen.
However, I think there's a stretch involved when identifying the Middle/Neo Platonic Emanation with the Christian Divine Procession of the Trinity.
Don't be afraid! Faith is always Cracking Through metaphysics. You can't wrap your mind around Christ, you can only love Him, It satisfies me, for one. Any objections?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Along with the brief statement of faith in St. Patrick's [i]Confession of Bishop Patrick[/i], this creed is indicative of a rather odd trend in some quarters of the Church during the Patristic period: creeds that either minimize or ignore the earthly life of Christ, while speaking beautifully about the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.

Dan Hunter said...

Isnt today the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts Peter and Paul?

Jordanes said...

Yes, that is today, Nov. 18, but St. Gregory Thaumaturgus was remembered yesterday, Nov. 17.

Jordanes said...

who was the first to identify Christ with the Greek Logos? I'm thinking Origen.

Some might say it was St. John. It depends on what one means by "the Greek Logos." And of course before St. John it was Philo Judaeus who first appropriated the Stoic philosophers' "logos" language to speak of the God of Israel.

Dan Hunter said...

Forgive me,
I failed to look at the date on the post.

Jordanes said...

No problem. It was late in the day before I got it posted yesterday, so most people probably didn't even see it until today.

Anonymous said...

Our Lady also appeared to St. James the Apostle in Spain while both were still alive on earth.